WISCASSET, Maine — Recently, students in Ralph Keyes and Shari Templeton’s biology classes transplanted the heirloom tomatoes they had planted at the end of March into 4-inch pots. As a result of their careful handling of the delicate seedlings, 14 different varieties will be available for sale at the Morris Farm Plant Sale on May 21.
The students learned about heirloom tomatoes — naturally pollinated tomatoes whose seeds have been handed down for many generations. Some varieties planted are more than 100 years old. Students calculated the germination rates for each of the 14 varieties. These ranged from 67 to 100 percent, indicating that some are more difficult to start than others. The overall average of 89 percent also testifies to the care the students took with planting and watering. The array of plants include slicing, paste and cherry tomatoes that are red, yellow, orange, purple, green and “black” (actually deep red).
The plant sale will be held 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 21, at the Morris Farm, 156 Gardiner Road (Route 27). The sale also will include hardy Maine-grown perennials from local gardens.
The Morris Farm is a nonprofit educational farm. It is open to the public seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. For more information about the farm or becoming a member, visit http://www.morrisfarm.org or call 882-4080.